German metal act, VISION OF CHOICE have recently announce the release date for their first studio album, entitled ‘Mistress of the Gods’ which will be released on February 14, 2020. The album will be available on CD, Cassette, and Digital Media through Fencesound Music and Bandcamp.
They also revealed the artwork and track-listing for this album which can be seen below:
1. New Horizon 2. Come Tomorrow 3. Shine 4. Into The Light 5. Endlessly 6. Hold Your Head High 7. Mistress Of The Gods 8. Givin’ It Up 9. Gates Of Evermore 10. Hold On 11. Touch The Sky
“Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore, while I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping.” As of some one hardly rocking, rocking at my smart phone. WOLF to reveal some surprise, raven has never told me any lies. Ah, distinctly I remember it was a night in September. Picked up my phone called Nik, Let’s talk, it will be quick….
Swedish heavy metallers, WOLF have recently shocked their fans with their new line up, featuring Johan Koleberg and Pontus Egberg and that was not all. They revealed that they working on their eighth studio album, entitles “Feeding The Machine”. To find out more I conducted an interview with Niklas Stålvind, an excerpt can be read below.
Asked him about the days that Richard and Andy left the band, what was the story, Nik seemed to be not very happy to talk about that era but he answered:
“We still haven’t finished recording. We have date set for mixing, dead line and we have a release date but it’s been very long process this one… Couple of weeks before [UK] tour, Andy called me, we are good friends but he’s not the guy who call you or at least he never called me. So I was really happy when he called me but then he said there’s nothing to be happy about because I’m quitting the band, but I’ll do the tour but the last thing I’ll do because I don’t feel it’s fun for me to be in the band anymore. Also I should say that Andy is playing totally a different kind of music in his other band and he seems really happy there…. I phoned up Richard to discuss the situation with Andi and everything and he told me that he’s also leaving the band…. I felt like let’s just let it go, because it seems to me neither of the guys are happy with the band and in my head I only had to finish the album and then we can sort it out.”
So what’s story of finding new members, now he sounded more excited and he replied:
“I felt a bit chaotic and I had no idea how we’re gonna to release this album with just half of the band…. Then a friend of us Mike Wead from King Diamond, he’s a close friend of Simon. He knew that we’re looking for people, so he asked Pontus the bass player of King Diamond if he knows anyone around Stockholm area for drummer. He said, yes I know a really good guy, my childhood friend, Johan, who I’ve been playing with for a long time. So I checked out Johan and he was really good drummer and seems to be a nice person as well. Mike Weed also told the bass player of King Diamond the they [WOLF] are looking for a bass player as well but I don’t think you’d be interested. But actually he was …. I did a bit of research on the guys of course, I thought they sound great and they seem to be normal nice guys! So we had a meeting with the guys and they are in the band now.”
“It’s been an emotional roller coaster the last couple of months because it’s not a good way of, I mean people quitting and new members getting in, it’s been really very exhausting to say the least. But I am very happy to have the [new] guys in the band and they wanted to be not just like hired musicians, they really wanted to be in the band for real.”
I asked him what took them so long for a new album, as “Devil Seed” was released in 2014. Nik answered:
“When we were making the “Devil Seed” album I didn’t have a job, I had to quit my job because I was burned out and I took my sick leave and invested on writing music… After the release of the album, I got a new job and start to work full time and that’s what I was doing. I have a family with two kids and also we did more touring on “Devil Seed” than we done with other albums so we were playing more lives… But mostly because I’ve been working, all the WOLF members have been working full time with day jobs but I wrote the first song for this album in 2015…. For this album, I wanted to go deeper into myself, I couldn’t really force it, to me it is just not like any songs….”
What’s the concept and idea behind the title of “Feeding The Machine” album, Nik answered me thoughtfully:
“The idea, I got, I think it was in 2016, I started to noticing that social media has become something very manipulating. When I was unemployed, I used social media to sell my artworks and I was fortunate that people saw them and buy them so I can buy foods for my children, I was very thankful. But around 2016, I started to noticed, what the f*ck is this, it’s not me using Facebook anymore, it’s Facebook using me. It’s so manipulative and it just make people gather in small groups hating each other and I felt something is really wrong there. Whatever. I take Facebook as an example but it’s the same with Google and everything, if you don’t buy service then you are the merchandise! Not only that, they are really manipulating opinions, elections, these companies are not neutral… Some people recognize it and some people don’t…. We are all feeding this machine!”
Nik and I spoke many other things like how the upcoming album would sound like and its production, so you can listen to the whole of this interview on the Audio Player below:
Swedish heavy metal act, WOLF, have just revealed their new line up featuring drummer Johan Koleberg (ex-HAMMERFALL, ex-THERION ) and bass player Pontus Egberg (KING DIAMOND) who joined the band after former members, Anders “Tornado” Modd and Richard “Raptor” Holmgren left the band after 12 years. Century Media Records posted a video online showing the band’s new line up at Simon‘s SolnaSound Production Studio.
Vocalist and guitarist Niklas Stålvind comments:
“We are super excited to launch a batch of new WOLF songs with the new line-up and play live in 2020 and beyond. While Pontus and Johan might be new faces in WOLF, they are hardly new to the metal scene, with many years of touring and countless records under their belts. If the WOLF fans like their playing half as much as Simon and I do, they will love it! We’re eager to go on tour now and show the guys that WOLF fans are the best! In addition to that, we would like to take the opportunity to thank leaving members Anders “Tornado” Modd and Richard “Raptor” Holmgren for 12 years of pure metal excellence and wish them both best of luck with their new adventures. Hail Tornado! Hail Raptor! And ALL HAIL CAESAR!”
The band has also revealed more information on their upcoming album, entitled “Feeding the Machine” which will be released on March 13, 2020 via Century Media Records. The album will be mixed by Fredrik Nordström of Studio Fredman. The artwork once again has been painted by legendary artist Thomas Holm (King Diamond, Mercyful Fate) and will be presented soon.
METAL SHOCK FINLAND‘s chief editor, Mohsen “Stargazer” Fayazi, has recently had an interview with Niklas Stålvind which will be published this week.
Swedish metalheads, SABATON had a video shooting session in Tunisia a few days ago for a music video for a song from their newest album “The Great War”.
Today the band posted a few photos showing them in Sahara and a serious car crash. According to the band’s official Facebook page, they were involved in a serious traffic incident upon their return from a video shoot two days ago.
“We are all broken, badly beaten, bleeding and stitched up, but happy to be alive and confident that we will be fully recovered over time.” The band stated, “However, after consulting medical expertise and evaluating all our injuries we are sure that we cannot do the scheduled concert in Poland today without risk of consequential injuries.”
The band had recently announced their European tour dates for “The Great Tour” but now after that horrible accident, SABATON apologized their fans for cancelling their show in Poland and stated: “We will be back with full force in October for the North American tour and will return to Gdansk as soon as possible.”
German power metal generators, HELLOWEEN announce the re-issues of two of their classic albums to be released on April 19th: The legendary double-album “Keeper Of The Seven Keys: The Legacy” (2005), including the singles ‘Mrs. God’ and ‘Light The Universe’ feat. Candice Night, and the album “Gambling With The Devil” (2007) including the singles ‘As Long As I Fall’ and ‘Find My Freedom’.
The albums will be available in the following formats:
“Keeper Of The Seven Keys: The Legacy”:
2CD + 2LP
01. The King For A 1000 Years
02. The Invisible Man
03. Born On Judgment Day
04. Pleasure Drone
05. Mrs. God
06. Silent Rain
01. Occasion Avenue
02. Light The Universe
03. Do You Know What You’re Fighting For?
04. Come Alive
05. The Shade In The Shadow
06. Get It Up
07. My Life For One More Day
08. Run (The Name Of Your Enemy)
“Gambling With The Devil”:
CD + 2LP
01. Crack The Riddle
02. Kill It
03. The Saints
04. As Long As I Fall
05. Paint A New World
06. Final Fortune
07. The Bells Of The 7 Hells
08. Fallen To Pieces
10. Can Do It
12. Heaven Tells No Lies
13. Find My Freedom
14. We Unite
15. See The Night
16. Never Surrender
Finnish super group FLAT EARTH, featuring former HIM members Mikko “Linde” Lindström (guitar) and Mika “Gas Lipstick” Karppinen (drums) alongside ex-AMORPHIS bassist Niclas Etelävuori and POLANSKI singer Anttoni “Anthony” Pikkarainen, has recently posted a new lyric video for ‘Subhuman’ track, taken from their “None For One” album. The video is created by Mohsen “Stargazer” Fayazi at Stargazer MultiMedia.
FLAT EARTH was formed after Etelavuori fell out with the manager of AMORPHIS and exited the latter band. Suddenly, Niclas was left stranded. He decided to show the world that he still had a lot to give, so he started looking for possible bandmates.
Niclas explains: “After over two decades playing with bands, I was at a point thinking that maybe I start doing something else. But then I knew I had these songs on my hard drive still, and nothing was done with them. And I just wanted to get rid of them and see what happens. But then it kind of took over and I started to focus more on that.”
Linde first sprang to mind, even though he still had his hands full with HIM at that time. Nevertheless, the two of them kept meeting regularly, and started working on ideas for new songs. Getting Anthony on board provided additional inspiration. And when their old bandmate Karppinen finally joined on drums, the group’s lineup was completed.
While Linde was busy playing the States and Europe on HIM‘s farewell tour, the remaining trio spent their time recording drums to seven pilot demos that had previously been taped in Niclas‘s basement studio. Gas brought along two of his own songs, and Anthony composed a new track for the band. Linde found an old song of his he had first fleshed out when he was only 13. The rest of the tracks were Niclas‘s ideas mainly, treated to the band’s arrangements, with Anthony providing both the vocal melodies, as well as the lyrics. The basic structure for the first album was ready.
Linde remembers: “Our common friend, who’s been helping us get this band off the ground, recommended a guy named Anttoni ‘Anthony’ Pikkarainen, who had been singing in a band named POLANSKI. The band had made a record, and after we’d listened to it, we had to set up a meeting immediately.
“I have a great feeling about our new band. Anthony had recorded with Hiili Hiilesmaa before, and the rest of us have known each other for years. It feels as if all the stars have finally aligned.”
On May 17 2018, the band posted an official studio video for ‘Blame’ song which can be seen below: